Newburyport , MA
Jere Sheehan was born in 1932 in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he has lived his whole life. He is the current President of the 35-member Cam Snappers Hot Rod Club in Newburyport Mass. Jere’s first car was a 1936 Ford convertible coupe with a rumble seat. He has also owned a 1947 Chevy convertible, a 1955 Oldsmobile 88 and a 1959 Olds 98, both hardtops, as well as a 1972 Olds 442. His favorite car is his roadster.
Jere’s first involvement in hot rodding began around 1948 to 1950. He founded a Club called the “Saints” with about three friends. On March 16th, 1952 Jere and 11 Charter members, the Cam Snappers of Newbury Port Mass was formed. After a local paper published a story about the club, the Cam Snappers send the article and photos to Hot Rod Magazine, then run by Wally Parks. Hot Rod was keen on finding stories to highlight the partnership between hot rodders and the police, and show examples of them working together – this was a perfect opportunity for the club!
With the new-found attention, 5 other New England clubs came together and, on March 23rd, 1953 the New England Hot Rod Council was born. Acquiring a drag strip was the first key task for the Council, though they were able to stage a few locally. The Clubs additionally held shows and events, and secured a 6,000ft long strip which they leased from the town. With other drag strips in local regions, the Club participants were able to get to run nearly every Sunday.
The Council made a film about racing, “A Day at The Drags,” which they showed to local Clubs in the members’ home towns. For more about this amazing New England history, give a listen to Jere’s incredible tale!